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Excerpted from The Soul in Love by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2001 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Saints and sages alike tell us one story over and over of being irresistibly drawn to God's embrace."

  Deepak Chopra
The Soul in Love
, Part 1

There is a rare experience that can bring more delight than falling in love -- falling in love with God. Both are mysteries of the soul. We are used to living our lives without touching such mysteries. Falling in love may remain in the back of our minds as a supremely desirable event, but the world doesn't revolve around it, except for lovers. We give them a privileged position, briefly exempt from care and worry. Life's business gets suspended while lovers sigh and long for each other, feeding off the mere touch of the beloved, intoxicated by a glance or a word. Glances and words aren't really magical, yet love makes them feel that way.

The excitement of falling in love always comes to an end, and when it does, the mystery fades. Day by day, the intoxication is less, and soon the lovers get welcomed back into the reality of business as usual. Yet a privileged few are spared this return to everyday life and remain in love seemingly without end. For this to happen, the beloved must be God. All other loves pale beside a sacred one. Saints and sages alike tell us one story over and over of being irresistibly drawn to God's embrace:

Oh God
I have discovered love! 
How marvelous, how good, how beautiful it is! ...
I offer my salutation 
To the spirit of passion that aroused 
and excited this whole universe 
And all it contains

These words are from Rumi, the sublime Persian poet so enraptured with God that he clung to a pole outside his house, swinging back and forth in ecstasy. From his lips poured joyous, drunken words about his Beloved, but these words weren't the ordinary effusions of a lover seeing through rose-colored glasses--Rumi was a lover who had seen something at the depths of life. To him, God was everywhere, and every atom of the universe pulsated with the same divine rapture. The power that created the cosmos poured through Rumi's veins, and the experience was not all pleasure. It was earthshaking:

You go to bed crying and wake up the same, 
You plead for what doesn't come 
Until it darkens your days. 
You give away everything, even your mind, 
You sit down in the fire, wanting to become ashes, 
And when you meet with a sword, 
You throw yourself on it.

Ordinary people (the villagers and devotees who surrounded Rumi) were reluctant to throw themselves into such a frenzied state, but they were fascinated by Rumi. In mesmerized groups they stood around while he swung on his pole rhapsodizing, or whirled in the dance of the dervishes and sang, because his songs and verses were inspired. It is that quality which puts God-intoxication above falling in love. Some aspect of wisdom is present, not a mere emotion or inflamed passion. Reading Rumi, a chill runs up your spine because you have the uncanny feeling that you have been where he is. Perhaps he is even yourself:

Motes of dust dancing in the light 
That's our dance, too. 
We don't listen inside to hear the music-- 
No matter. 
The dance goes on, and in the joy of the sun 
Is hiding a God

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